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St. Louis' Old Courthouse takes next step toward renovation

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corporation will lead the renovation, contributing to the CityArchRiver project.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — The National Park Service and the Gateway Arch Park Foundation have selected a local company to lead renovations on the Old Courthouse at Gateway Arch National Park.

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corporation will lead the renovation, contributing to the CityArchRiver project, according to a press release.

The CityArchRiver project helped revitalized the Gateway Arch park grounds, Arch Visitor Center, Museum at the Gateway Arch, St. Louis Riverfront, Luther Ely Smith Square and Kiener Plaza. The final component of the $380 million project is renovations on the Old Courthouse. 

The Old Courthouse has served St. Louis and the United States in many pivotal early legal cases. It took center stage when Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom in 1846. The courthouse also saw another famous civil rights case when Virginia Minor sued for her and all women's right to vote in the 1870s. 

“We are honored to preserve and protect the Old Courthouse and the many stories told within its walls – from Dred and Harriet Scott and hundreds of other enslaved people suing for their freedom, to Virginia Minor’s fight for a woman’s right to vote,” Gateway Arch National Park Superintendent Jeremy Sweat said in the release. “These renovations will maintain the Old Courthouse’s historical integrity and safeguard its lasting legacy.”

The renovations are focused on increasing accessibility, structural improvements and a new exhibitory to the Old Courthouse.

Renovations will include: 

  • Installation of an elevator for greater accessibility 
  • New heating ventilation 
  • Air conditioning system 
  • New fire suppression system 
  • General restoration and improvements

“As the philanthropic partner of Gateway Arch National Park, our mission is to ensure this national park site remains vibrant and welcoming for generations to come – and these renovations to the Old Courthouse will certainly accomplish that,” Gateway Arch Park Foundation Executive Director Ryan McClure said in the release. “We are committed to creating a modern, accessible and inclusive Old Courthouse experience that demonstrates how important this building is to the story of America, and how our collective past can inform our future."

Artifacts, park archives and the library will move to the Old Post Office in downtown St. Louis while the renovations are being completed. 

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